ON APRIL 12, 1972, Don Van Vliet and his free jazz acid-R&B experimentalists The Magic Band, entered Radio Bremen’s Funkhaus to film a performance for German TV show Beat-Club. In this stunningly high-quality upload of four of the songs recorded that day, we witness the group in their full Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot-era glory with the magnificent trio of Zoot Horn Rollo (Bill Harkleroad), Rockette Morton (Mark Boston) and Winged Eel Fingerling (Elliot Ingber) laying freak-blues guitar over Art Tripp and Roy Estrada’s hynoptic backing.
Arguably the finest footage of the band on the web (alongside this), it’s a concise reminder of Beefheart’s unique fusion of genres, complete with Albert Ayler-esque sax explosions (Steal Softly Thru Snow) and beat-poet narratives (Golden Birdies).
Here's Bill Harkleroad with a few memories:
“I’m Gonna Booglarize You got played an awful lot and was definitely part of our live show. Like Click Clack and Alice In Blunderland, Booglarize You was a staple part of the set on three basic tours – 1971, 1972 and 1973. I can specifically remember the band performing it on a German TV show called Beat Club. Like all TV shows at that time, they weren’t ready for loudly performed music. Our type of music was designed to be played loud, it didn’t have to be earsplitting, but it had to be played with a certain amount of volume just to push enough air to feel the excitement level of it — because we did have energy, no question about it!"
Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band play:
Steal Softly Thru Snow Click Clack Golden Birdies I'm Gonna Booglarize You, Baby
The full Beat-Club performance can be seen on the Captain Beefheart: The Lost Broadcasts DVD — available via Gonzo Multimedia.